Rare albino echidna gets new home in Australia
18 October 2012 Last updated at 11:49 GMT
A rare albino echidna has been released after being rescued on the outskirts of Canberra, Australia.
‘Casper’ was found by the side of a busy road two weeks ago, and has been recuperating with carers since.
His new home is Tidbinbilla, a protected nature reserve away from traffic, where it is hoped he will find a mate.
Echidnas are egg-laying mammals which use their long noses and tongues to eat ants and termites.
Brett McNamara, Australian Capital Territory Parks and Conservation Ranger, explains the rare find.
Click here to watch a video.
The Echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus) or Spiny Ant-eater is a curious creature, teaching us to focus on the little things and on our unqiueness. In Native American lore, it is a symbol of time to initiate a change, so I find it very interesting that this rare white Echidna was found near Canberra, the capital city of Australia.
Could it be that Caspar, particularly being white, which symbolises purity and truth, is coming into the Australian psyche to give a message to look for the truths and to embrace change for the better of all?
Echidnas are very unusual mammals because they lay eggs. Mammals that lay eggs are called monotremes. The Echidna’s tongue is very long and sticky and is perfect for catching the hundreds of termites and ants that make up their staple diet. Each of the echidna’s spines is formed from a single hair. An echidna can lift objects twice its weight. The short-beaked Echidna is found throughout Australia and Tasmania.
Echidnas have no teeth. An Echidna crushes its insect food between horny plates on its tongue and the roof of its mouth.
The echidna was named after a monster in Greek mythology. The echidna can dig incredibly well due to its long claws, and an echidna is able to escape danger by digging straight down. Tachyglossus aculeatus, the Short-beaked Echidna, is one of 4 species of Echidna.